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Norwegian Gem Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2,534 reviews
9 Awards

Post Covid Norwegian Gem - Greek Isles

Review for Norwegian Gem to Europe
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6-10 Cruises • Age 80s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2022
Cabin: Mid-Ship Balcony

So this being my first cruise post Covid (done several NCL cruises last decade) wanted to make a review of what works (and what is utter failure) with NCL. This is not a bash on them, I am a platinum member and very pleased with them overall, but they are not the same as my last cruise (2019), some is better, some is worse, others are just different.

First off, the booking is not as convenient as it used to be, the online portion is fine, you get a lot more packages (not actually free, but the drink package is included as well as 2 premium restaurants per 1 week cruise, you pay service charge which is about $140 for drinks and $30 for restaurants per person). You get a basic internet service, but I recommend upgrading the to $50 unlimited (at least for one person, so one phone/device at a time). You get this option when you pay. You can also get Priority access ($180), this gives you early embarkation and de-embarkation, and early tender (when not at a pier), and free hot breakfast room service ($10 cost normally, cold breakfast room service is free), then other discounts. I tried the Priority and do not recommend it, cheaper to go separately, and if you are on NCL excursions the priority means nothing. I also opted for trip insurance, because of Covid, really did not use it and probably won't get again.

While the online booking is fine, calling in to make changes is a nightmare. We used to get assigned cruise consultants, I don't think those exist now. There are long wait times, and most operators are clueless. Get the same on the ship in guest services, there is one knowledgeable person for every ten that don't know what they're doing. I think this is typical for everybody now. The other issue is between when I booked and when I sailed, they made several changes (and refused to compensate us, in the past they always threw us a bone, not post Covid). The ship was supposed to leave from Venice but now leaves from Trieste, 2 hours away. They still shuttle you there for $25 per person, but that takes time and you lose the option of visiting Venice (which you should). We also lost our Argostoli stop, mainly for their convenience, again, no adjustment on the cost. I assume they have been bleeding cash so much that they are pinching you where they can.

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony

Cabin was smaller than the bigger NCL cabins of this class (Epic, Breakaway), but otherwise fine. Had I known I would have bid on a suite upgrade. Steward was great and we picked a good location, however there were some loud neighbors (group of families from Asia that decided to congregate in the room next to ours, the others probably did not have balconies) By culture they spoke very loudly, I don't think they were being obnoxious, just loud when they spoke, maybe need hearing aids?

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